UEFA has not been able to resist the strong pressure from the clubs to continue organizing what is considered the best competition in the world without the video arbitration system (VAR). The Executive Committee of the organization, meeting in Dublin, has decided this Monday to implement it for the eliminatory rounds of the Champions League that begin with the round of 16 next February, in which the figure of the assistant of the area will disappear. The system will also be used in the final of the Europa League and in the European sub-21 next summer. UEFA had planned its establishment for the next season, as announced in the month of September. However, for months it has been coming to an end this accelerate in the implementation of the new arbitration system that passed its test of fire during the last World Cup in Russia. Since then, the speech by UEFA president, Slovenian Alexander Ceferin, reluctant to implement the VAR immediately because of his confrontation with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, which made it a personal bet for the World Cup, has been it has moderated until it ends in its use from the crosses that will begin next February.
In the month of April, with the controversial Real Madrid-Juventus quarter-final still hot, UEFA President Alexander Ceferin declared in The Gazetta dello Sport: "The Champions League is like a Ferrari or a Porsche: you can not drive right away, you need training, testing offline, and everyone has to understand how it works." In May, in Kicker, Ceferin reaffirmed his position: "People do not understand this because it is not explained with sufficient precision. The Champions League is the first, the maximum of the maximum, you can not make a test in that context. All the rules must be clear. "
In September, when UEFA already announced that it would use it for the 2019-20 academic year, Ceferin said: "We are confident that by introducing the VAR in August 2019 we will give the necessary time to have a solid system and to train the match officials with the objective that the VAR implementation in the UEFA Champions League, the world leader in club competitions, be efficient and successful. " The times referred to by Ceferin, tto and as this newspaper advanced in the month of August that could happen,Thanks have ended up being shortened. At that time, Ceferin came to assure in an interview with a Slovenian newspaper that "I do not know where this information comes from".
The pressure of the big clubs, represented by the European Club Association (ECA) and headed by the president of the Juventus Andrea Agnelli, have taken effect. "There is a strong will on the part of the clubs to use the VAR in UEFA competitions as soon as possible," Agnelli said during the last ECA meeting last month, after FIFA chief referee Massimo Busacca , presented a report about the use of the VAR in the World Cup in Russia and the increase in the percentage of correct decisions.Some examples like the goal of Fellaini with the hand in the last Manchester-United Valencia, which certified the elimination of the competition of the Spanish team in the group stage, UEFA have made this decision. "I wonder that existing VAR, in this competition so big is not present yet," said Marcelino at the end of the game held at Old Trafford. errors in the elimination crosses would have redoubled criticism of UEFA.
Since the aforementioned controversial final of the quarterfinals of the season between Real Madrid and Juventus, in the halls of UEFA was a clamor that the Champions would need the VAR sooner rather than later. The institution has worked against the clock to be able to use video arbitration as soon as possible. Between October 15 and November 20, he organized three courses for VAR implementation arbitrators held in Amsterdan, Madrid and Istanbul. The biggest problem that existed was the bottleneck generated by the arbitration. Resolved this, now with only 16 teams in competition, and also accelerated the negotiations with technology providers, UEFA has ended up giving up with the VAR for this course, although it has accepted that the Champions are played with a different arbitration system with which it began to dispute in September.